Software that is to be designed and written for operation in the factory environment is especially difficult to conceptualize, design and successfully install. This paper focuses on some aspects of software engineering that apply to this situation and may prove useful to others involved in this profession. The particular problem that is considered in the paper is that of a "Real-time Production Monitoring System" although any industrial system could have been used. Monitoring industrial processes and displaying meaning ful data in real-time is extremely difficult, mainly because each component, although complementary, is functionally, electrically and temporally quite different. It is therefore difficult to design a standard "factory data structure" or always to find elegant processing mechanisms. In order to integrate data from these disparate sources, the system must be carefully architected, using consistent and sound software engineering principles. The paper included practical aspects of the implementation of this particular information system, which is a growing component in the management process of a typical computer-integrated manufacturing facility. The paper contains sections on human-factors engineering, fault detection and system recovery. The selection of the operating system platform is critical, and software engineering professionals should appreciate the sections devoted to the system components. Some material is based on the author's own practical experience gained in the design and implementation of several such systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Earth and Planetary Sciences